‘Tis the gift to be simple
‘Tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves in the place just right
It will be in the valley of love and delight
~Traditional Shaker Hymn
Life can be complicated and busy, especially as we near the holidays.
So this year, I’m focusing on simple, traditional, fun and useful gifts that will make the both the receiver and the giver feel good.
Is there any gift more fundamental than a good book?
We’ve got eight recommendations, four for kids and four for adults. Read our reviews of these Best Books About Skiing for Kids and Best Books About Skiing for Adults, here.
Because nothing is more fun than something the kids can play with immediately.
Lego Friends Snow Resort Kits: Ski Lift, Chalet, Ice Rink and Off-Roader
I included the Lego Friends Snow Resort Ski Lift ($57.99) in a post this fall and overall, the reception on social media was positive. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to build a Lego chairlift?
In addition, this year’s Lego Friends Advent Calendar is also snow-themed.
The Lego Friends line of building kits is definitely geared toward girls. Each of the kits comes with Lego Friends characters, but only the ice rink comes with a male figure.
I know this is disappointing for boys and I’ve reached out to Lego suggesting they produce a gender neutral chairlift kit. I urge you to do the same.
Just for fun, check out this short video Lego released in late October.
While I was disappointed to see that the ski mom wasn’t wearing a helmet, the five tips aren’t bad and the animation is cute.
Here is the answer for boys (and girls) who yearn to build a chairlift, or in this case, a gondola in the living room. The Playmobil Alpine Cable Car Playset has 80 pieces and is totally gender neutral. It can be hard to find, except from third-party sellers. I found a set this fall at Scholar’s Choice, a Canadian homeschooling retailer. It was a fair price. Otherwise, your best bet is probably checking Amazon.com (prices vary).
In addition to the gondola set (which comes with nearly 80 inches (200 cm) of cable for the cable car!), you may be able to track down additional alpine themed Playmobil, including the Alpine Lodge Playset and the Alpine Festival Procession Playset.
Another kit that is fun for outdoor families is the Backpacker Family at Mountain Springs Playset, $23.95.
Among the simple pleasures of life, puzzles rank high.
This year, we’re featuring two 1000-piece puzzles from White Mountain Puzzles, both priced at less than $20.
Think of good mittens as an investment in happiness.
Last winter, Oyuki sent me samples of their top-of-the-line mitts for toddlers, kids and women. I shared these with friends. You can read their glowing reviews of the Bado, Rippa and Chika mitts, here.
The Bado Mitt for Toddlers: Smart design, easy to put on and take off. Available in sizes 2, 4 and 6, in black, blue or raspberry, $35.00.
The Rippa Mitt for Kids: Warm and not bulky, these mitts made our tester happy because they made it easy to grip her poles. Available in sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12, in black, navy or oxblood (burgundy), $88.00.
The Chika Mitt for Women: This is a high-performance, full-leather mitten with Gore-Tex lining, Primaloft insulation, a fitted neoprene cuff and wrist loops. It’s a serious mitt for women who seriously want their hands to stay warm. Available in sizes XS – L, in black and white, $135.00.
Oyuki is based in Niseko, Japan. If you’ve got a few minutes, watch this amazing video of their sponsored athletes ripping the amazing Japanese terrain and powder. Inspiring!
Our choices are bags to help you eliminate plastic and paper waste from your life and bags that will make your ski days easier.
Help the Planet with Zoetica
Colorado-based Zoetica offers individual items and curated kits to help us kick the convenience waste habit.
A small attractive pouch or cross-body purse preloaded with unbleached cotton produce bags and lightweight, high-volume shopping bags.
Zoetica estimates that using a grocery kit can eliminate up to 20 single use plastic bags with every grocery run. We’ve used these bags everywhere and not just for groceries. They are attractive enough to take to the toniest boutique.
A travel kit for people on the move. It is TSA compliant and includes food containers, utensils, a straw, a napkin, several bags and a cup. Keep it handy in your car, or in your carry-on, and substitute long-lasting reusable utensils and containers for throw-away plastic and paper.
Simplify with a Multi-Sport Lightweight Backpack from Kulkea
Ready to stop over-gearing and packing for every possible contingency? Check out Kulkea’s Micro Pack, a low-profile super lightweight ski backpack. It’s well-designed to carry just the essentials. (Read our full review of the Kulkea Micro Pack here.)
Made for action, it’s got room for snacks and water bottles. Use it to carry lunch or stash an extra layer. Only 3″ deep, it’s unlikely to protrude on the lift or throw you off-balance on the snow. Use it skiing, hiking or biking. It’s a multi-sport, multi-tasking wonder. $99.95
Transpack Ski and Boot Bags
Make your life easy by giving every member of the family their own ski boot and gear bag.
Our family favorite pack is the Transpack TRV Pro, $139.95. We love this pack because we can stuff it full with all of our ski clothes, boots, helmets, mittens and more for travel. Other options from Transpack include theEdge Junior ski boot backpacks for younger kids, XT1 and XTW for larger kids and adults and the Heated Boot Pro and Heated Boot Pro XL.
Stocking Stuffer Alert! The Ski Bat
My friend Sarah calls the Ski Bat a “game changer.” It’s a nifty one-piece device that clips over junior skis in front of the bindings and behind the bindings, holding them securely together. Snap your child’s skis poles into the Ski Bat horizontally and presto! The Ski Bat is a quick and easy way to carry skis from the car to the base area.
Bonus: Our Favorite DIY Christmas Ornaments
Display your family’s passion for skiing and turn your old ski passes and RFID tickets into Christmas ornaments. All you need are old passes, a hole punch and ribbon.
And, yes, a Christmas Tree!
And Happy Holidays to each of you, my friends.
Brave Ski Mom Holiday Gift Guide Archive
- The Brave Ski Mom Holiday Gift Guide, 2016
- The 2015 BSM Holiday Gift Guide for Skiers and Snowboarders
- The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Women Who Love Ski Fashion
- The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Ski Moms and Their Skiing Families
- A Skiing Family’s Letter to Santa: Gift Ideas and a Giveaway
- Christmas Gifts for Skiing Families
- ‘Tis the Gift Giving Season: Suggestions for Skiing Families
More Holiday Gift Ideas from My Favorite Outdoor Families
- Play Outside Guide – 2017 Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaways
- Our Hundred Acre Wood – Holiday Gift Guide: 2017 Family Biking Edition
- Mountain Mom and Tots – 40+ Gift Ideas for Family Hiking, Biking, Camping and Skiing + GIVEAWAY
- Go Adventure Mom – 2017 Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaways
- Rain or Shine Mamma – Holiday Gift Guide for Outdoorsy Kids + Giveaways
- Born to be Adventurous – Holiday Gift Guide for the Outdoor Family
- Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies – A Ski Family’s Holiday Gift Guide
- Backwoods Mama – Holiday Gift Guide for Canadian Outdoor Families
- Little Family Adventure – The Ultimate Family Guide to Outdoor and Camping Gifts
- The Kid Project – Useful Outdoor Gifts For Your Family
- Tales of a Mountain Mama – 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Families
- Outdoor Family Magazine – The Ultimate Gift Guide for Outdoor Families
- RockiesGirl – The Under $30 Gift Guide for Outdoor Families
- Nomads With A Purpose – Holiday Gift Guide for the Want-To-Be Adventurer
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